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Lee descendent gives blessing to remove 'symbol of white supremacy and racism'

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 12:59:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Robert W. Lee IV, the fourth great-nephew of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, stood side by side with Governor Ralph Northam and state leaders Thursday as they announced his great-uncle’s prominent statue on Monument Avenue will be removed.

Lee, who is also a pastor, gave his blessing for the removal of the Lee statue, calling it a symbol of hate and racism in the Commonwealth.

He said the eyes of the world are on Virginia and the United states after the death of George Floyd and many others at the hands of oppression, racism, white supremacy and police brutality.

“A New Day is coming not only for the Commonwealth, but for the United States and for the world,” said Lee. “To those of you who might be hedging your bets that this is not the time to do this, when will be the right time. When will it be right to address the white supremacy and racism that we have made an idol of my uncle out of?”

“We have created an idol of white supremacy, of hatred of racism, and rightfully so out of the Confederacy and we must do our best now to address that,” he added.

In a historic announcement Thursday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered the removal of Robert E. Lee statue from Monument Avenue in Richmond as soon as possible.

“It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. So, we’re taking it down,” said Northam Thursday.

Northam says the statue will go into storage and he will work with the community to determine its future.